State Politics

Investigation into former Idaho lawmaker now handed to Attorney General’s Office

Idaho Rep. Brandon Hixon, R-Caldwell.
Idaho Rep. Brandon Hixon, R-Caldwell.

The Caldwell Police Department has turned over its criminal investigation of former Republican Rep. Brandon Hixon to the Idaho Attorney General’s Office for further investigation, the department said in a statement Thursday, Oct. 26.

No other new details were released in the statement.

Earlier reporting continues below:

A three-term Idaho state lawmaker involved in an active criminal investigation resigned from office Oct. 19.

Republican Rep. Brandon Hixon, of Caldwell, submitted his resignation letter to House Speaker Scott Bedke and Gov. Butch Otter.

“I hope that my efforts have helped improve the lives of my constituents in District 10, as well as all Idahoans,” Hixon wrote in an email. “I will never forget all of my colleagues that I very much enjoyed working side by side with to make Idaho a better place for all.”

The letter did not detail why Hixon was resigning.

According to Caldwell police, Hixon has been the subject of a criminal investigation that began two weeks ago. Authorities have declined to share details about the case and have not said what prompted officers to launch it.

No charges have been filed against Hixon as of Thursday, according to online public court records.

Boise attorney Gabe McCarthy, Hixon’s legal counsel, did not respond to follow-up questions regarding Hixon’s resignation. Hixon did not respond to text messages for further comment.

Bedke said that Hixon was not asked by legislative leadership to resign.

“His letter stands by itself,” Bedke said. “Now the process will start to find his replacement.”

In Idaho, when a lawmaker resigns before finishing the legislative term, regional leaders with the lawmaker’s political party are tasked with selecting three replacement candidates. Those names are then submitted to the governor, who makes the final selection.

Sen. Jim Rice is a Republican from Caldwell representing Hixon’s district. He told the Statesman that he did not know what the investigation was about. Reached Thursday evening, he had not yet heard about the resignation.

“I think Brandon didn’t want a distraction for the Legislature or for our district, and I think his concern was about the people of District 10,” Rice said.

Regarding Hixon’s replacement, he said: “We’re going to have to take a look, and I think we’ll get some good people who get put forward to the governor.”

Hixon, 36, was elected to the Idaho House in 2012. He served on the House Business, Health and Welfare, Transportation, and Defense panels.

Each election cycle he has addressed a handful of past criminal convictions by describing them as “youthful indiscretions” that he has vowed not to repeat. He was convicted of five misdemeanors before age 21: having an invalid driver’s license, a curfew violation, urinating in public and twice, minor in possession of alcohol.

Hixon is divorced with four children ranging from 6 to 17. He resigned from a job as an insurance agent immediately after winning his legislative seat.